A blog about architectural tiles, terra cotta and other ceramic surfaces, architectural glass and ornamentation in and around New York.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


(Besides my article, below, I am posting a guest article about the possible, imminent destruction of the Batchelder tiles in a deserted Queens movie palace, and of the theater, itself.)

Batchelder in Manhattan

This article is about four Manhattan buildings designed by two architectural firms in the 1920s and located in the same neighborhood. 
Floor and wall tiles were the bulk of the output of most U.S. tile companies, and all four buildings used Batchelder tiles in their public areas as floor and wall tiles. Although some wall and floor tile installations were considered works of art, many were just done in an artistic manner. These are some of the latter type, and they illustrate the presence in the City of a major Arts and Crafts, art tile company.

10 Sheridan Square/Shenandoah Apartments

All photos courtesy of Michael Padwee unless otherwise noted.

The interesting exterior of the Shenandoah is described in The Greenwich Village Historic District Designation Report (Vol. 1, p. 132) of 1969 as follows: “Rising fourteen stories in height, this severely simply brick apartment house has its residential entrance on Sheridan Square and also faces Grove Street. It was erected in 1928-29 for three members of the Smith family, Amos W., Woodruff, and Helen E. In his design, the architect Emory [sic] Roth used a severely simple version of Neo-Romanesque. The building has a handsome stone base at ground floor level with broad segmentalarched show windows for stores. Over the second story a small corbeled cornice serves as a base for the brick walls which rise sheer above it to a horizontal stone band course between the eleventh and twelfth floors. All the windows are metal casements, and above the top band course they are paired and arched with central colonnette extending up through two floors at the center of each facade, a crowning feature surmounted by a low pediment on the Grove Street side. A tower with arched loggia rises above these central windows on the Sheridan Square side.”

“Emery Roth [...1871-1948], is best known for defining the skyline along Central Park West, and designing the first twin towered building along that avenue. Roth was born to a comfortable, non-observant Jewish family. He emigrated to America in 1884, at age 13, following the death of his father and a consequent change in the family’s financial status. A family connection in Chicago led him to an architectural apprenticeship as a draftsman in the offices of Burnham & Root, working on the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. He subsequently moved to New York, where he worked in the office of Richard Morris Hunt. He then worked for Ogden Codman, Jr., a designer and decorator with a Newport clientele. ...Roth is often ranked amongst the greatest apartment house architects of the prewar period. Known for both his skillful planning ability, his extraordinary massing, and exterior facades, some argue that this combination of skills ranks him first in his milieu. ...Roth’s work was very eclectic, drawing upon a broad range of geographic and historical influences. Most of his work was classically inspired, drawing upon the Italian, French, and Spanish Renaissance. Very early on one can see the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement, and then in his later work, he is equally adept in the world of Art Deco. Roth left a remarkable legacy of over 250 apartment buildings in New York City.” (David Lubell, “Emery Roth”, Prewar Passion: the Quest for the Perfect New York Apartment; http://prewarpassion.com/emery-roth/) 

“Roth is well known in New York City as the architect of some of the grandest (and priciest) residential and hotel buildings in the city. Many like the El Dorado, the San Remo, and the Beresford on Central Park West epitomize pre-War opulence and incorporate Neo-Romanesque and Beaux-Arts design.” (“10 Sheridan Square: Then and Now” by Drew, January 22, 2013; http://gvshp.org/blog/2013/01/22/10-sheridan-square-then-and-now/)

“Despising the 'baldness' of so much modern architecture, he wedded limestone, brick and terra-cotta in functional yet richly detailed commercial buildings with Old World charm.” (http://www.nyc-architecture.com/ARCH/ARCH-EmeryRoth.htm)

"His creative use of towers, set-backs, and classical detailing combined with his innovatively spacious floor plans made Roth the most in-demand architect of his day." (http://www.devonshirehousenyc.com/#/emery%20roth/)

In the Shenandoah "the original details are well preserved, making the historic structure stand out in the exclusive Sheridan Square location. The lobby has a gothic church feel and the entire original detail has been kept… .” (http://www.mns.com/content/west_village/category/notable-buildings/) 

The tiles in the lobby contribute to this "gothic feel" and were made by the Batchelder Tile Company of Los Angeles. The door jambs, floors and low wainscot are tiled in shades of red, yellow, brown and green. The metal grills and elevator openings are also tiled. The identification of the tile manufacturer was confirmed by Hanne Nielsen, the Archivist of the Pewabic Pottery in Detroit, Michigan, Richard Mohr, an architectural and ceramic historian, and by Joseph Taylor of the Tile Heritage Foundation in Healdsburg, California. Some of the molded insert tiles can be found in the 1923 fourth edition of Batchelder Tiles: A Catalog of Handmade Tiles.

Stock tile No. 67 in the Batchelder Catalog, p. 29.

Stock tiles Nos. 640A and C, Batchelder Catalog, p. 30. The top border is stock tile No. 206, Batchelder Catalog, p. 38.

The stock grill tiles are No. 631, Batchelder Catalog, p. 43.

Joe Taylor checked the Batchelder Catalogs at the Tile Heritage Foundation and found the gaudily glazed ⅞” x ⅞” and 3” x 3” tiles on page 311 of the Batchelder Catalog: Tiles for Pavement Designs.

The 3”x3” molded tile at the lower left is No. 127; the 2”x2” tiles below it are Nos. 640C, 642A, and 640A.

“Even though Roth's name will be forever linked to luxury apartment houses, he also designed residential buildings for the less wealthy of New York. His Goldhill Apartments, completed in 1909 on Union Avenue in the Bronx, were intended for middle-income earners. Roth was one of the architects to submit plans when in 1930 Julius Miller, president of the borough of Manhattan, invited proposals for housing the "...average wage earners. Given that Roth's reputation rests on his large number of apartments and hotels, it is often forgotten that he also designed a number of fine houses of worship.
Erected in 1903 for Congregation Adath Jeshurun of Jassy, the Erste Warshawer, 60 Rivington Street, was one of the great synagogues of the Lower East Side.

"This former synagogue was built in 1903 for Jews from the town of Iasi, Romania... . Later it was the Erste Warshawer (First Warsaw) Synagogue, for a Polish congregation that organized in 1886. ...Since 1973  it's been artists' studios and residences." (http://nyc-architecture.com/LES/LES035.htm

"Mixing Vienna Secessionist motifs with Hungarian vernacular style, the First Hungarian Reformed Church, 344 East 69th Street, dates from 1915.

(From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:First-hungarian.jpg)

"The diminutive edifice is on the US Department of the Interior's National Register of Historic Places. Now housing the Gospel Mission of Baptist Church, Temple B'nai Israel, 610 West 149th Street, boasting a sanctuary covered by a massive dome and capable of accomodating 1,300 worshippers, was constructed from 1921 to 1923. The Baptist Tabernacle, built in 1928-30 at 168 Second Ave., was home to a variety of ethnic - Italian, Polish and Russian - congregations. 

"242 East 14th Street at Second Avenue in Manhattan, New York City, was built in 1924 for the Labor Temple, "New York's most radical church". The Temple got a chapel, an auditorium, and a gymnasium, and the developers kept control of the commercial rental of the remainder of the building, which was designed by Emery Roth. The Labor Temple disbanded in 1957." (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:242_West_14th_Street_Labor_Temple.jpg; Photographer: Beyond My Ken)

"The Labor Temple, 242 East 14th Street, the city's most radical church, was completed in 1924, and the Chelsea Presbyterian Church, 214 West 23rd Street, two years later.” (http://www.nyc-architecture.com/ARCH/ARCH-EmeryRoth.htm)

Ernest Batchelder and his Tiles

By the mid-1920s Ernest Batchelder (1875-1957) had expanded his tile business to Manhattan, where he had an office and showroom in The Architects’ Building, 101 Park Avenue South. Batchelder was one of the innovative people in the ceramics and tile making industry, along with Herman Mueller, Henry Mercer, William Grueby, Maria Longworth Nichols and Mary Chase Perry in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. “After 1900 an increasing number of American-trained technicians and designers entered the field of ceramics, resulting in the production of more innovative tiles. ...Advances in glaze technology and experimental production methods led to the creation of unique designs and architectural installations. Handcrafted tiles...were introduced by [...these designers and the companies they founded].” (Susan Tunick, “The New World”, in Hans Van Lemmen’s Tiles: 1,000 Years of Architectural Decoration, Henry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, NY, 1993, p. 168)

One of my favorite Batchelder installations was a tiled candy store and ice cream parlor in Los Angeles built in 1914--the Chocolate Shoppe. (Photo courtesy of the Archives of the University of Southern California)
“Ernest Batchelder was part of…the Arts and Crafts Movement’s rediscovery of the methods and motifs of medieval tile making. ...Joseph Taylor [of the Tile Heritage Foundation explained]: ‘Arts and Crafts tile makers were inspired by medieval tiles--or tiles as they were understood to be made by European craftsmen of old. Those who tiled the churches and cathedrals made the decorative tiles...on site, by hand, allowing the clay and the texture of the clay to become integral to the design. Decoration, too, was hand applied using wooden blocks to incise the surface of tile that would be filled with a contrasting color.’ The result was tile that showed the nature of the clay and the hand of the maker. 

Ernest Batchelder's bookplate. (Courtesy of Lew Jaffe)

"Like his contemporaries, Batchelder liked medieval imagery, but he also liked Native American and Japanese design, incorporating all of these into his work.” (Sabra Waldfogel, “Batchelder Tile Old, New and Inspired”, Arts and Crafts Homes and the Revival, Winter 2007, pp. 52-53)

A major commission for Batchelder was the Hershey Hotel fountain room in Hershey, PA (1932-33). Originally, “Batchelder tiles were used on the walls, floors and stair risers of [the] dazzling fountain room… .” (Tunick, p. 185) Unfortunately, it looks as if only the fountain remains. (Photo courtesy of Mr. T in DC)
“The Batchelder Tile Company was founded in 1909, but Ernest Batchelder had been actively involved in the Arts and Crafts movement long before this date. He had directed the Department of Arts and Crafts at Throop Polytechnic Institute in Pasadena, and written widely on the subject of design. When he left Throop in 1909, he built a kiln behind his home in Pasadena and began to produce decorative tiles. His designs owe much to Grueby and Mercer, but his handling of the clay resulted in tiles with a clearly individual style. Batchelder's floor tiles, for example, are uniformly moulded, and although they have an earthy quality and matte glaze, are more refined than Mercer's. Batchelder architectural tiles met with great success, and the company moved twice, expanding each time. Its tiles appear on the walls and floors of many New York City apartment house lobbies, and can be found in shops, restaurants, swimming pools and hotels throughout the United States.” (Susan Tunick, “The New World”, in Hans Van Lemmen, Tiles: 1,000 Years of Architectural Decoration, Henry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, NY, 1993, p. 185)

The Beauclaire

The view from East 9th Street
Another apartment building, which has entrances at 25 East 9th Street and 26 East 10th Street and extends for one block along University Place (40-56)--the Beauclaire--also has Batchelder tiling for its public spaces on the ground floor of both lobbies. The Beauclaire was designed by the architectural firm of Sugarman and Berger, and was constructed in 1926. “Sugarman & Berger were successful architects of the 1920s, but their firm does not have much name recognition today. This is unfortunate, since [...they] are masters of the functional layout… .”  (http://prewarpassion.com/the-stanton-250-west-94th-street-2/)   Although the Sugarman and Berger building exteriors were usually bland, the University Place facade of this building is decorated with polychrome terra cotta.

“Henry Sugarman (1889-1946) was a graduate of the National Academy of Design and the School of Architecture, Columbia University, and studied in England and France. After working in the Southern United States, he moved to New York in 1917 and formed the partnership of Bloodgood & Sugarman. In 1923 the firm of Sugarman, Hess & Berger was established; from 1926 until Berger’s death in 1940 the firm was known as Sugarman & Berger. Albert G. Berger (1879-1940), a native of Hungary who was educated at the University of Budapest, emigrated to New York in 1904 and worked for other firms before joining Sugarman.” (“Master Building, 310-312 Riverside Drive, Borough of Manhattan”, Landmarks Preservation Commission, Dec. 5, 1989, Designation List 222 LP-1661; http://www.neighborhoodpreservationcenter.org/db/bb_files/1989MasterBuilding.pdf) 

Both entrances--on East 9th and East 10th Streets--are covered in multi-colored, matte-glazed Batchelder hexagonal tiles, some with impressed inserts.

The grills are also made of Batchelder tiles.

Some of the inserts are the same as those in the Shenandoah.

Susan Tunick of the Friends of Terra Cotta located two other buildings in Manhattan that used Batchelder tiles. These were across the street from the Beauclaire Apartment building on East 10th Street and University Place. One of these buildings, Devonshire House, 28 East 10th Street, was designed by Emery Roth, and the other, University House, 21 East 10th Street, was designed by Sugarman and Berger.

Devonshire House

The Devonshire House at 28 East 10th Street was designed by Emery Roth in 1928 after “...developer H.A. Hyman challenged...Roth to design a Greenwich Village residence inspired by the Picadilly mansion [of the Duke of Devonshire]. ...While the Devonshire family crest and other English period details embellish the facade and lobby, 

Photo courtesy of Michael Padwee

Roth also drew on Italianate motifs for the building’s unique masonry… .” (http://www.devonshirehousenyc.com/#/history/) “...Devonshire House features a unique blend of Moorish masonry and British detailing giving it a castlelike presence on the streetscape.” (http://www.devonshirehousenyc.com/#/the%20building/) 

Roth was the first architect to incorporate the water tower as an integral element of the building’s architecture, and this was copied by many other architects afterward.

The lobby of the Devonshire is tiled with Batchelder tiles according to Susan Tunick, and I saw some of the tiles in the entrance foyer.

A 12" square Batchelder tile on the foyer wall, which is No. 623 in a c.1923 Batchelder catalog, Batchelder Tiles: A Catalog of Hand Made Tiles.

No. 623, p. 19.

Another wall tile, No. 521, p. 29.

University House

Photo courtesy Michael Padwee

Another apartment house designed by Sugarman and Berger (1923-1925), University House, was built at 21 East 10th Street, just across the street from the Beauclaire and caty-corner from the Devonshire House. (These three buildings take up three of the four corners at East 10th Street and University Place.)

A Batchelder fountain, tiled floor, and tiled trim in the lobby of University House.

Although I could not gain full access to this building, I was able to take photos of the foyer and part of the lobby.

Grill tiles in the foyer.

According to Susan Tunick, the terra cotta was supplied by the New York Architectural Terra Cotta Company, which was based in Queens. Can we make an educated guess that the architects who designed this building and the Beauclaire across the street in 1926 used the same terra cotta company for both buildings just as they used the same tile company?

Part of the architectural terra cotta on University House.

The New York Architectural Terra Cotta Company,
401 Vernon Avenue, Long Island City, Queens

The NYATC Company sign on the Administration Building.
(Photo courtesy Michael Padwee)
James Taylor emigrated from England in 1870 and became a “coast-to-coast trouble-shooter” for the terra cotta industry in the United States. In 1886 he became the Superintendent of the newly organized New York Architectural Terra Cotta Company founded by Orlando Bronson Potter and Asahel C. Geer. He helped make this company “one of the largest manufacturers in the country.” Instead of building his plant close to clay deposits, “He reasoned that clay was cheaper to transport than finished ware, and that manufacturers needed to maintain close contact with architects and builders… . In addition, it was easier to find and hire skilled workmen in cities than in relatively remote rural areas.” (Susan Tunick, Terra-Cotta Skyline, Princeton Architectural Press, 1997, pp. 10-12) The factory was located in Long Island City, but only the Administration Building still remains to the South of the Queensboro Bridge. The company went into bankruptcy in 1932, and in 1933 a new company, the Eastern Terra Cotta Company was incorporated and took over the New York Architectural Terra Cotta Company’s plants in Long Island City and Old Bridge, New Jersey. Eastern Terra Cotta closed in the early 1940s. (Tunick, pp. 135-136)

This is what's left of the New York Architectural Terra Cotta Company. This building was finally declared a NYC landmark before it could be completely destroyed.
(Photo credit: wallyg / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND; http://foter.com/photo/nyc-queens-lic-new-york-architectural-terra-cotta-company-building/)

When I visited the NYATC Co. site in July 2012, it was covered with construction netting. This is a photo of a small part of the terra cotta ornamentation taken through the netting.

I would like to thank Joe Taylor of the Tile Heritage Foundation, Hanne Nielsen, Archivist of the Pewabic Pottery, and architectural and ceramics historian Richard Mohr for the identification of the tiles, Mr. T in DC for the use of his Hershey Hotel photo, and Susan Tunick of the Friends of Terra Cotta for identifying the terra cotta company and the other buildings that used Batchelder tiles. Also, thanks to Lew Jaffe ("Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie" blog) for the Batchelder bookplate, and to Wally Gobetz (wallyg) for the photo of the New York Architectural Terra Cotta building.


(Photo courtesy of Jim Henderson, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Jim.henderson)

Survival by Neglect: The Flushing New York Keith Albee Theatre

The Flushing RKO Keith’s theatre in Queens, New York was advertised as “The Finest Theatre on the North Shore” with a large hand painted billboard in block letters still visible from the street. It is the first prominent building you’ll see after crossing the Flushing Bridge on Northern Boulevard, which was once the main East-West thoroughfare to the North shore of Long Island. "The Finest Theatre on the North Shore" may well have been an understatement because this 1928 theatre is among the finest work by one of America’s most renowned and prolific theatre architects: Thomas White Lamb. There were only thirty-four true "atmospheric theatres" ever built in the United States, seven of which were in NYC. Of these, only the Valencia in Jamaica (now a church), the Loews Paradise in the Bronx and the RKO Keith Albee still stand. 

The Flushing RKO was a masterpiece that blended the Mediterranean Baroque style of Spanish architect J. M. de Churriguera with highly detailed Moorish and Gothic decorative elements, while avoiding the garish appearance of other show palaces of the day. The atmospheric style was enhanced with a curved "sky"--a blue ceiling--in both auditorium and foyer, lending to an almost planetarium like effect. The auditorium was surrounded with a cityscape of faux porticos under an arcade of roof tops adding to the feel of being outdoors in a Mediterranean village at dusk. 

(Tile photos courtesy of Christian Kellberg and wideimaging.com)

The theatre was placed on the National registry of historic places in 1982 and its interior landmarked by New York City in February 1984. The tragedy of the RKO began just over 4 months later when the NYC Board of Estimate de-landmarked most of the theatre in July 1984, except for the foyer, lobby and ticket booth, with a terse one paragraph statement and no explanation. Less than two years later the Board would itself be disbanded, being found unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. 

The de-landmarking, however, enabled the sale of the building to a developer who started a form of low end demolition, using hand held hammers, designed to short circuit any effort to reinstate the landmark status. Parts of the interior that could be easily removed, like the bronze entry doors, cast iron light fixtures and even marble floor tiles have long since disappeared. 

Despite its continued partial landmark status the theatre has been locked and closed to the public for twenty-seven years, with ownership transferring to a succession of two more developers who have let the property sit idle, falling substantially behind in property tax and unable to secure a loan for construction. The few reports about the theatre circulated by the local papers have described it as gutted and as such worthy of demolition without a valuation of the contents ever taking place and the decades old action by the former Board of Estimate allowed to remain in place. 

Plans were drawn up in 2005 to use the remains of the foyer as the entrance to a high-rise apartment building. These plans have faltered under the complexities of building over the partial landmark and under the glide path of planes landing at LaGuardia Airport, 7000 feet away.  In the ensuing nine years the community has become a highly competitive and over-developed real estate market, making a profit based on the site’s available foot print even more difficult. 

Having grown up in Flushing I’ve been inside this enormous 3,000 seat theatre many times and was skeptical of its official assessment as a worthless and gutted building. In context to the history I have described, I was amazed to discover recently that the front door had been left open, perhaps inadvertently after an inspection, for a number of weeks. There were no signs or legible permits anywhere to be found, and no one at the site to ask. Seeing the opportunity I grabbed my Nikon and proceeded to explore the interior and take hundreds of photos. For a building that has been vacant in NYC for 27 years and subjected to orchestrated vandalism I knew there would be extensive damage but the question of what survived and the story it would tell intrigued me more. 

The 1977 modifications that converted the theatre into a triplex were gone as were all of the seats. The scene brought back memories of the original cavernous auditorium. The proscenium, most of the organ screens on either side of the stage and almost all of the decorative plaster work surrounding the auditorium up to the balcony remain. The reinforced concrete balcony was still in place along with rough stucco and walls and stairways. 

In 2011 Matt Lambros wrote a blog post with many more photos like the one above about this theater for his "After the Final Curtain" blog. (Photo of the auditorium of the RKO Keith's Theatre in Flushing, Queens courtesy of http://afterthefinalcurtain.net/2011/04/20/keith-albee-theatre-or-rko-keiths-theater/

Surviving decorative plaster includes an incredible array of character faces, animorphs and relief sculptures hidden among the patterns and architectural elements that define the theatre as a palace of imagination and an extension of the movies and performances that took place there. Where there was a damaged section an identical undamaged equivalent could typically be found right next to it; Thomas Lamb’s use of symmetry and common molds for casting can easily be seen. 

Originally, there probably were more than one tiled fountain in this theater. Although I assumed the fountain was made by Batchelder, Christian Kellberg has a different attribution: "The polychromatic fountain in the Grand Foyer is a rare interior example from the Atlantic Terra Cotta Company. Unfortunately neither its beauty nor its landmark status have spared it from demolition by neglect. Significant buildings utilizing Atlantic Terra Cotta products include the Flat Iron building at 75 Fifth Avenue (1901), and the Woolworth Building (1913) in New York City, the Union Trust / Guardian building in Detroit (1928), the Philadelphia Museum of Art (1928) and the U.S. Supreme Court (1935)." (From Christian Kellberg's application to the NYC Landmarks Commission to reconsider landmark status for the building)

Other surviving theatre elements include hand painted coffered ceilings, murals, ornate railings, a glazed polychromatic tile fountain, urns, fireplaces and assorted details among a rubble strewn floor and an auditorium ceiling with large sections hammered away leaving an impression of overall damage that exceeds what has actually occurred. Much of this has been documented in the photo collection of the 1,200 member Facebook group “Save the Flushing RKO Keith’s”.

An offhand comment by a friend, whose family has done tile work, made me want to take some photos of the bathroom tiles, which I recalled as having an interesting pattern. As I was leaving through the Men’s Lounge I looked down and spotted another type of tile under a layer of plaster dust; brushing one off I noticed a pattern that was quite distinctive so with a wet rag I cleaned some more revealing a startling design. I moved over and cleaned off another and another and after doing this for about a dozen I concluded they were so numerous that it was a more than casual task. I took photos and did not give it much thought until months later when I started putting together a book about the theatre. I still did not attach much significance to them until I started searching the internet for images that might help to identify them, after I had finished the book! 

One in particular had a distinctive Mayan glyph, and when I added “Mayan tile” to the search term I found an exact match; opening the image led me to a book by Robert Winter and the name of the artisan who created them: Ernest Batchelder, one of America’s most noted arts and crafts tile makers. 

A room with a Batchelder tile floor.

Going back over my photos and checking the size of the two adjoining spaces where I found them and using Thomas Lamb’s drawings stored in the Colombia University Avery Library, I estimate that there are thousands, in two different sizes arranged in a diamond pattern surrounded by multi-colored smooth tiles. The themes of tiles I had cleaned of grime were Mayan glyphs, Celtic crosses, hunting and animal patterns: a very eclectic and remarkable mix, probably a unique installation of this quantity and variety; in excellent condition and certainly unknown.

I am now putting together a landmark application to try and save this exceptional theatre along with these tiles, any and all help is welcome.


The UK's Tiles and Architectural Ceramics Society with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund All Our Stories initiative has begun a project to explore Stoke-on-Trent's historic tile and architectural ceramics industry called 'The Potteries Tile Trail'. In the first instance - local people will have the opportunity to join a research team. They will meet experts, visit key collections and explore (sometimes hidden or forgotten) tiles and architectural ceramics located across the City. The team will then share their findings with the wider community through public presentation events in each of the City's famous Six Towns - Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley, Stoke, Fenton and Longton. Also, we want people from further afield to help us build this collection. We need your help to identify tiles and architectural ceramics that you have found or know about that might have been made in The Potteries. 

Finally, you can experience "The Potteries Tile Trail" on the website, or by visiting the places mentioned when next you visit Stoke-on-Trent. Here are some of the collected tile images: http://www.thepotteriestiletrail.org/. And here's a link to their blog: http://www.madeinstaffordshire.com/thepotteriestiletrail/blog/.

We are currently re-working the online collection and creating the trails (one for each of The Potteries' 6 towns - Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley, Fenton and Longton). The trails will be available free of charge to anyone accessing our dedicated Historypin channel (via the web or mobile phone application as 'Tours'). The trails are also available as digital documents (PDFs) on the project website which can be downloaded and printed if required. The downloadable digital PDF versions and final Historypin collections and tours were launched and made available from the beginning of September to coincide with the launch during national Heritage Open Days weekend (13th-15th September 2013).